Frisk #180

Three treble-twenties, it’s Frisk #180! Naturally Frisk is apolitical so I’m not going to make any wisecracks about U-turns, but… y’know.


Escape to the country
Rural Britain is now making more money from tourism than it is from farming. 81.5% of people in Britain and Wales live in urban areas, and folk have always fancied the idea of escaping the smoke for a bit of chlorophyll and the occasional hill, but the idea of holidaying in the UK has really gone bonkers recently. Google searches for glamping are up 118% year-on-year, there’s an astonishing amount of niche festivals these days, and the ubiquity of Airbnb and suchlike means it’s never been easier to curl up by the fire in a country farmhouse after sinking a few chewy pints in a low-ceilinged pub with three people in it.
Naturally this trend means that all sorts of intriguing ideas are popping up: Scenic Rail Britain, for example, is an initiative to show disaffected London commuters that train journeys needn’t be hateful, encouraging them to broaden their horizons on the St Ives Bay Line or the Settle-to-Carlisle route.
Brits have really latched on to the idea of going on holiday without having to queue for ages at passport control. And it’s doing wonders for rural economies.

Amazon Pharmacy
There will undoubtedly come a point in the near future when Amazon sell literally everything, meaning that there will be no need for other businesses to exist. Hell, we might as well have our salaries channelled directly into Amazon’s mighty offshore accounts, to save us the hassle of actually paying for things individually.
Their latest step toward global domination is banging out drugs by mail-order. The firm recently posted an ad for the position of ‘Pharmacies Market General Manager’, which is a pretty clear signal that they’re going after your local pharmacy; Japanese consumers can already get their prescriptions fulfilled through Amazon Prime, and the company’s been flogging medical supplies in the States too.
So here they are, saving you the hassle of picking up your prescriptions while also removing the embarrassment of having to look someone in the eye. If you’re cooking up a load of meth in your basement and you need a worry-free pseudoephedrine delivery, you can probably get a drone to drop it off.

Wilful smokers
A few weeks ago, we were talking about smoking: “Does the nature of vaping (the variety of flavours, the ability to mod your hardware to make colossal vapour clouds, the Millennial cachet of doing something your parents never did) mean it’s a good way to turn people off smoking actual cigarettes, or a gateway from the fun stuff to the hard stuff? If kids start vaping in school, will they turn into cigarette smokers?
Well, according to recent research, vaping actually is getting people off the fags. There are now more ex-smokers vaping in the UK than there are cigarette smokers, while 79% of Americans no longer consider smoking to be cool. After decades – nay, centuries – of an established norm, a new way of thinking has rapidly escalated a massive cultural shift.”
There’s one vital element here that we’re missing there, of course: some people do actually just want to smoke. They like it.
Look at China. A country with an estimated 316,000,000 smokers, puffing through 44% of the entire global cigarette market. The taxes are low, which makes ciggies very cheap, and it’s a deeply ingrained social behaviour. The majority of smokers simply don’t want to quit.
A recent study has suggested that, aside from culture and tradition, education may also be a significant factor. 60% of Chinese smokers were unaware of the correlation between smoking and strokes, while 40% didn’t know there was a link to heart disease. What to do about this? Some cities are bringing in public smoking bans. Will this work? Well, one step at a time…

Daniel Bevis, Senior Knowledge Editor

7th June 2017